Social Studies

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Architecture 2030

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Learn about efforts to protect the environment by changing the way buildings are planned, designed and constructed.

The Art of Data Visualization | Off Book

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Off Book takes a look at how the practice of data visualization has gained even more importance in this digital age. From scientific visualization to pop infographics, designers are increasingly tasked with incorporating data into the media experience. Data has emerged as such a critical part of modern life that it has entered into the realm of art, where data-driven visual experiences challenge viewers to find personal meaning from a sea of information, a task that is present in every aspect of our lives.

Egypt's Treasure Guardians | Full Program

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Meet Egypt's "treasure guardians," a group of archaeologists, scholars, conservators, and engineers working to guard national heritage, following years of political upheaval, by building a museum. To preserve its rich history and to tempt visitors back, Egypt is building the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM)—the greatest Egyptian monument since the pyramids! Archaeologists across the country are opening new dig sites to find artifacts for display, with the hope that teaching the public about important historical areas will keep those places protected in the future.

Up the Yangtze

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Nearing completion, China's massive Three Gorges Dam is altering the landscape and the lives of people living along the fabled Yangtze River. Countless ancient villages and historic locales will be submerged, and 2 million people will lose their homes and livelihoods. The Yu family desperately seeks a reprieve by sending their 16-year-old daughter to work in the cruise ship industry that has sprung up to give tourists a last glimpse of the legendary river valley. With cinematic sweep, Up the Yangtze explores lives transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history, a hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle.

Portland: A Sense of Place

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Discover how Oregon's land-use planning system has benefited both urban and rural residents and environments.

Ebola in the News | Second Ebola Diagnosis Shows Danger for Health Workers

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During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, PBS NewsHour interviewed registered nurse Katy Roemer and history of medicine Professor Howard Markel on the dangers of Ebola for U.S. health workers.

Use this collection of news stories and resources from the PBS NewsHourto understand the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa.

Making the Modern Clock | How We Got to Now: Time

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Understand how Galileo discovered that a pendulum could be used to regulate clocks in this clip from How We Got to Now. Support Materials include a background essay on the history of timekeeping and the development of the atomic clock, teaching tips to foster innovation and bring concepts from this clip into the social studies, science, and math classrooms, as well as pre-viewing and post-viewing discussion questions.

Why Only 9 Countries Have Nuclear Weapons | Above the Noise

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North Korea has been making headlines recently, mostly due to its nuclear weapons. In early January, the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, boasted of his ability to reach the U.S. with nuclear-armed missiles. Then in March -- in an apparent 180 -- he told South Korean officials that he would be willing to negotiate with the U.S. to completely denuclearize. What are the rules that govern who has nukes and who doesn’t? And why do some countries maintain huge nuclear arsenals, while many other countries don’t have any nukes? Joe Hanson of It's OK to Be Smart joins host Myles Bess to investigate.

London: The Price of Traffic

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Learn how London's mayor has instituted policies that respond to the city’s growth while improving its livability and sustainability.

Growing Energy

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Discover how Brazil's innovative fuel usage provides an argument for alternative fuels.

The Combustion of Wood

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What happens when wood burns? Learn about the chemistry of combustion, as well as the different types of combustion, including the types that are harmful to human health. 

The new e-book, Engineering is Saving the World with Cookstoves, tells the story of the need for a new design for cookstoves in Darfur and how researchers have worked to make that happen. Videos, animations, and interactive graphics explain the design process, and provide a deep dive into science concepts, like combustion. This video is part of the e-book.

A History of Colonization | Children of the Amazon: Part 5

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Children of the Amazon invites you to see through the eyes of these inspiring and remarkably resilient people whose lives are transformed by a road carved through their forest home. This excerpt deals with the incursion of the outside world into the people who lived in the forest, starting in 1907.

A Rubber Tapping Invasion | Children of the Amazon: Part 4

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Rubber tapping used to be a sustainable process at the turn of the century, but the growth of industry and outside culture in the forest seeded conflict between rubber barons and the indigenous communities. Children of the Amazon invites you to see through the eyes of these inspiring and remarkably resilient people whose lives are transformed by a road carved through their forest home by an outside world.

Nature's First Defenders: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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Indigenous people—nature’s first defenders—play a vital role in sustaining our planet. This video, along with the accompanying Nature's First Defenders teacher's guide and lessons, enables students to understand that role and to explore the many perspectives and issues involved in conservation, including how we relate to nature, how culture influences our points of view, what tools we have to be engaged in the conversation, and how we might address and reconcile differences.

 

Changes to the People and Culture | Children of the Amazon: Part 3

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A visit to the town of Cacoal shows just how much the Amazon has changed over the last few decades, and how the influx of manufactured goods, materials, and beliefs has impacted the indigenous community. See how the old traditions have been shaped by this new influence, and through the lesson plan below, explore the difference between things that we want and things that we need.

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